- Info & Pricing
Published: May 25, 2022
The skydive weight limit at every dropzone is not solely decided by the parachute center. Like many other rules and regulations of our sport, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the skydiving gear manufacturers are the shot callers. This is important, as the last thing we want is for any potential jumper to think we, meaning our industry or our individual skydiving dropzone, are being discriminatory. Weight limits are determined in the name of safety and comfort. Let's take a look into the logistics of skydiving weight limits.
So, what is the weight limit for skydiving?
Tandem skydiving rigs and those designed for solo jumpers come with different weight limits. The tandem skydiving weight limit at Skydive OC is 225lbs. However, if you are over 200lbs there are a couple of factors that need to be considered in order to determine if the tandem harness will safely (and comfortably) fit you - including your height to weight proportion. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us for clarification or additional information. If we can safely bring your dream of human flight to life, we will!
Why do skydiving weight restrictions exist?
The weight requirement for skydiving is not in place to be exclusionary. Trust us, we wish everyone could experience the freedom of truly flying! For starters, the human race would be a much happier bunch. But, as the saying goes, it's all fun and games until someone gets hurt. Just like continuing to drive even though you're exhausted, or trusting week-old leftovers (gross; do not eat them, especially before your jump with us), pushing the appropriate weight for skydiving gear is never a good idea. Need more than an adage to hammer home the point? Consider these no-good-very-bad-day scenarios:
Buttery Openings > Slammers
Does the parachute hurt you when it opens? No! You should not experience pain when the canopy is deployed - but you probably will if your skydiving gear is not properly fitted. The easiest way to relay this uncomfortable message (because skydiving is truly incomparable), is when the seatbelt in your car restrains you from a sudden stop, but amplified. Hard openings (slammers) are potentially dangerous and can cause injury to you and your gear. Hard openings are sometimes even to blame for tearing the parachute, which isn't fun for anyone! We prefer a nice, soft opening. Pure butter.
Every time the canopy is deployed it creates wear and tear on the entire system. If the weight under the canopy is higher than is recommended, it can exponentially increase the wear rate of the gear, and potentially increase the chance of a malfunction.
Plus, pushing the limits of the gear by adding too much weight can make it more difficult for your tandem instructor to steer the canopy - therefore making it more difficult to get you safely back to our designated landing area. Now let's say you make it back to the landing area ... upon landing, your instructor has to flare the canopy in order to make the landing nice and soft. Flaring essentially means taking the handles, aka toggles, and pulling them straight down by the waist, arms fully extended, in a motion similar to that of a muscle up! This swift action allows the canopy to slow down, slightly pop up, and make for an oh-so-smooth landing. It's the final, and yet one of the most critical, steps of the jump. Flaring increases in difficulty as weight increases.
Why do other dropzones have different weight restrictions?
It's true that most tandem gear has a limit of 500lbs. But that's not just for the jumpers' weight, it's the net weight. Meaning the tandem instructor's weight + the tandem student's weight + the weight of the gear (50-60lbs - crazy, we know!) must not exceed 500lbs. That may sound like a lot, but it adds up super quick.
Does this mean I have to be super physically fit to skydive?
Not at all. If we only catered to crossfit athletes, then 95% of our regular solo jumpers would bid the DZ farewell! Of course, we do take the overall proportionality of your body, and your weight, age, and relative physical fitness, into consideration before your jump. Freefalling through the sky is not for the faint of heart! Some core strength is required to lift your legs up for landing, and overall flexibility is needed for the duration of the skydive. If your health is a concern to you in any way, we recommend talking with your doctor ahead of making your booking.
So, to review. At Skydive OC, exclusion is out (and was never in), and safety is first (and always was). Maybe we're biased, but our dropzone is an awesome place to just hangout and learn about the sport and our unique community, even if you aren't jumping. And did we mention our views? Like our people, they're second to none. Come see for yourself - let's fly!